Vegetable beef soup(sense of humor version)
Neighbors, friends, a jealous mother(Yes Ma, this turned out better than yours! stop pouting and enjoy the fact that your "legacy vegetable soup" is getting passed around!)
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When it comes to cooking, I'm all thumbs. I've watched Rachel Rae, Bobby Flay and even Paula Dean make their dishes with such flare and made it look so easy. They lied.
There are a few easy things I can make like shake and bake, grilled cheese and heck, I've been known to whip up a mean batch of spaghettio's. My poor dear son has had to watch his friends with envy as his friend's mother's could be the next Betty Crocker. Heck, I've even seen one his friend's mother's bake brownies while wearing pearls!
BUT, every once in a while something comes over me. I get this itch. There are a few(well very few) signature dishes that I have spent years tweaking to get juuuuuust right. My Beef vegetable soup is one of them. My mother used to make this once a year. I make it twice a year(I'm that good,yo!)
The first time I made this, my mom was with me standing over my shoulder yelling,"You're doing it wrong! Don't stir like that, stir like this, You know your sister never had to have a fire extinguisher close by when she browned meat,etc...."
After the first failed batch, I went back to the store, bought the stuff to make yet another batch, I came back home, locked the door, turned up the music and i have no idea what came over me. But 12 hours later I had the most perfect batch of Beef vegetable soup!
When I make this, I post it on face book. Neighbors come over, friends drive great distances just to get a bowl of this soup!
Now I have never actually wrote down the recipe and neither has my ma. So please bear with me hence my title pretty much says it all. You have to have a sense of humor to read let alone execute this recipe. I wish you the best of luck following this recipe. If needed, please feel free to message me if you need any help with this recipe.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.
ok, depending how broke you are(like I am 90% of the time) there can be several substitutions made...
1.) Bear creek Beef vegetable soup mix(If I have the extra cash) OR McCormic's vegatable soup packet(This is a very new thing, MANY stores don't even have it yet, Wal Hell is one of those stores that doesn't have it yet, so I go to "Harp's" or "Price Cutter"~My hoosier friends, you can try Town and Country. It's about a dollar something for the packet) or you can go ahead and omit this step if you want, I'll explain how in a bit....
2.) A beef roast(chuck, prime, which ever is on sale or you can use something called,"Stew meat" located near the roasts at the grocery store. I usually get a roast and use the left overs for soup...If you use "stew meat", rinse it, pat it dry dip it in "egg wash"(1 egg well beaten and a little bit of milk) or just plain milk, "dredge it in a mixture of flour mixed with some salt, pepper and garlic powder", "brown it" in a frying pan with some canola oil(or whatever oil you like. When possible I use crisco butter flavour shortning)
If your using a roast, be sure to cook it in a crock pot/slow cooker, reserve the water part you cooked it in and use that as a "base" if you're not going to use the bear creak soup mix or the McCormic's soup mix thingy
3.) get your veggies out, Carrots, peeled and cut up, 2 or 3 stalks of celery washed, peeled and cut up, an onion diced(You can "brown it with you stew meat" if you like), about 3 potatoes peeled washed and cut up, a head of cabbage(THIS IS THE BEST PART!!!) cut it into "chunks" and leave them that way, I'll tell you why here in a minute...about a half bag of frozen or fresh corn(NOT CANNED!!!!!!!)
4.)a can or 2 of diced tomatoes, if it's summer and you have a garden, you can use fresh, to have the tomato skins "slide off", cut off the top part thingy, dip them in hot(not boiling, you'll burn your hands dork! lol) and the skins should slide off pretty easily, I usually make the kids do this since my hands break out when I use fresh tomatoes...
5.) about 2 or 3 cans of tomato sauce(depending how big your crock pot or stock pot is)(if you don't have tomato sause, a can or 2 of V8 can be used to substitute, it's about a dollar something or 78 cents a can depending on where you go.
6.)salt, pepper, dried diced garlic(or garlic powder(EASY ON THE GARLIC< THAT SHIT IS STRONG!),
*7.)Now here in NW Arkansas and Louisiana, "Tony Chachere's original creole seasoning" is a staple in every home. People down here even have it on their kitchen tables along with their salt and pepper. If my northern friends cannot find it, I will send you some. Use a shake or two of that. I kind of eyeball it and I would say I use about 1 tsp. of it. it is kinda spicy and does give your soup some "bite" so use caution when using it.
*8.)Again, with the "southern thang" "Tony Chachere's spice and herbs seasoning". I effing LOVE this stuff! The hickerbillys down here use it for something called "blackening" their creole food. I would say I use about 3 TBS of this. It's frickin'AWESOME!!!
9.)If you have a Schwan man, get the frozen bag thingy of little bow tie noodles with peas and carrots and etc...be sure to pick ot the peas or you can use whatever noodles you want. NOT MACARONI NOODLES though, the get "too mushy", or you can just omit the noodles if you want, but don't add the noodles til the last hour or two of cooking other wise you get a mushy mess.
If you have a big ass crock pot, Awesome! if not, get yourself a big ass stock pot(big shiny silver looking pot thing, I lost mine somewhere(*hint, my birthday is in July ;-)*)
Now if you're using a roast from last night's dinner, the night before, pull the roast and your veggies out of the crock pot from the night before, store the "roast water" in the fridge, slice up your roast in bite size pieces, this way you don't have to shell out the 6 something for the bear creek soup starter thingy, if not, oh well...Brown your meat as mentioned above, fill your stock pot or crock pot half way with water(unless you're using your "roast beef" water. I prefer to use a big ass stock pot! You have "more room" for your veggies!)
put the stock pot on the stove and your burner on medium for the first 30 minutes or so, then use med/low or simmer for the rest of the time, if using a crock pot, put it on high, unless your leaving for the day then put it on low~approx 8 hours give or take if using a crock pot)
add your meat, tomatoes, tomato sauce, your veggies(Don't forget to pick out those damn peas!) put your cabbage in, put it in in chunks, I have no idea why I do it this way, I just do plusit's like an "indicator" of your soup being done.
add your seasonings, salt pepper garlic, your tony chachere's seasoning, oh ya, if you have "Aunt Jane's mixed up salt seasonings, you can throw in a few table spoons of that too!!!
cook it for about 8 hours giving your soup a stir every once in a while....
While that's cooking, go ahead and make some yeast rolls(by scratch if your brave! or just get the kind in the freezer section....
when the potatoes and cabbage start to get"soft" use a wooden spoon and take apart your cabbage(you just like push it to the bottom of the pot and twist your spoon a bit...I recommend using a wooden spoon when stirring your soup and stuff, metal can scratch the pot....
While your soup is cooking, enjoy the scent of your home made veggie soup wafting through the air.
I have no idea if you can freeze the soup or not, I have never had any left over after neighbors and friends come and get their fill.....